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The Air Force continues to experience a pilot shortage, partly because many pilots choose commercial airline jobs. But the Air Education and Training Command says there has been some progress, and the Air Force is looking to improve its retention rate.

  • Former F-22 Raptor pilot Daniel Robinson, CEO and founder of Red 6, said technology is key, explaining that artificial intelligence can be combined with augmented reality in synthetic outdoor training environments to visualize adversaries and control the behavior of threats.
  • Gen. Mike Holmes (USAF, Ret.), former commander for Air Combat Command and deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, now chairman of the Board of Directors at Red 6, said he recommends pairing virtual training and simulation with flying real planes to enable pilots to experience G-force and temperature extremes.
  • Holmes said the pilot shortage was driven by retaining too many people after 9/11 and producing fewer new pilots; he said pilot training still uses models from the 1960s and ‘70s.

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